Auto buying service CUSO Autoland Inc. embarked on a new path when it was purchased by Mission Federal Credit Union’s CUSO in July.
With an auto loan portfolio topping $460 million and vehicle lending as a core product for more than 50 years, the $2.4 billion Mission FCU in San Diego was the strongest and best bidder for Autoland, according to the NCUA.
Mission Federal bought the 94% share of CU Vehicles that was once owned by Telesis, said Jeff Martin, president/CEO of Autoland. Kinecta and California Agribusiness have the remaining 6% portion. Prior to the recent sale, Telesis purchased Autoland in 2007 and subsequently sold minor interests, retaining a controlling interest, according to the NCUA.
Today, Autoland continues to tout its healthy financials. Through the third quarter of this year, its operating income was ahead of budget by $270,000 and just over 200%, with profitability at 12.6%, up from a projection of 8.6% of net revenue, said Martin.
“One of the benefits of Mission Federal Credit Union acquiring the majority of Autoland stock in July is having settled ownership with a credit union that is strong financially and carries an excellent reputation,” Martin said. “We experienced an immediate increase in new client activity as a result of the acquisition.”
The acquisition also gave Autoland great momentum as it heads into 2014, Martin said. With much of the groundwork already laid, the CUSO plans to expand its service into Arizona in the first quarter and reach Colorado by the first quarter, he added. Autoland will continue with its current expansion in Washington and California as well.
“Knowing how valuable this service can be to credit union members, Mission Fed’s CUSO was very happy to have the opportunity for a controlling ownership interest in Autoland in July 2013,” said Debra Schwartz, president/CEO of Mission Federal. “The combination is already beginning to show its value and true potential, as numerous credit unions and affiliates have contacted Autoland staff to find out more about their products and services.”
Schwartz said Mission Federal and Autoland have partnered to provide auto buying service to the credit union’s members for more than a decade.
“In 2014, we expect much of the same, as the momentum generated in the second half of 2013 carries forward into the New Year,” Schwartz noted.